In Ashkelon, life settles after cease-fire

City streets buzzing and there appeared to be no shortage of residents enjoying what seemed to be escalation's end.

March 14, 2012 03:44
3 minute read.
A girl stands inside a bomb shelter in Ashkelon

A girl stands inside a bomb shelter in Ashkelon 311 (R). (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)

Hours after a cease-fire was declared late Monday night, normal life appeared to have returned to Ashkelon Tuesday morning, following

At the city’s Hozot mall on Tuesday, life seemed to be back to routine, with a steady stream of customers milling around the shopping center.

Downstairs next to the building’s large bomb shelter, two young mothers played with their children at the mall’s bowling alley.

Rinat Shwartz, 36, said the visit to the bowling alley was the first time she and her three children left the house in three days. Being coopedup in the house for 72 hours began driving her and her children crazy, she admitted.

“They start to go crazy. Not only do they have nowhere to go, but they also hear the Code Red [siren] and have to stay next to the safe room at all times.”

Shwartz, along with her friend, is a schoolteacher and has had the past three days off. She said that her children slept well during the escalation and that they have become accustomed to the recurrent rocket fire on the city, but that regardless it still takes its toll.

“You raise your kids under the shade of fear, but I’ve never thought of living anywhere else,” Shwartz said, then returned to the lane where her children were waiting.

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